Digitisations for students and staff with disabilities

Coronavirus Update

As the Library is closed for access, the Digitisation Service is currently unable to scan from our print collections.  We are working to estabilish alternative mechanisms to fulfil requests.  Please do continue to raise requests in the normal way and will endeavour to supply the content required.

The Digitisation Service will obtain alternative format versions of content held by the Library on behalf of students or staff members with a Student Support Agreement (SSA), or similar, in place.  (If you don’t have an SSA in place, please contact Student Services in the first instance.)

All texts provided to staff and students are for their personal use only and cannot be given to any other persons.

Course materials created and provided by Schools will continue to be managed at School level in conjunction with the local Reasonable Adjustment Co-ordinators.

Requesting accessible text or alternative format texts

The Digitisation Service will obtain texts by firstly checking existing e-resource provision.  Where an e-resource is not already available, an alternative copy will be sourced from publishers via RNIB Bookshare (formerly Load2Learn).  If publishers are unable to supply a suitable copy, the Digitisation Service will scan the edition held by the Library. 

This approach ensures our students will benefit from access to publisher digital files where they are available as these should be fully accessible and compatible with assistive technologies from the start, improving functionality. 

(It should be noted that it can take up to 8 weeks for replies to be received from publishers, so it is imperative that all requests are communicated to the Digitisation Service asap.)

Requests can be submitted either by the individual themselves or by the tutor. Any omssions in the data required will lead to delays in processing the requests.


Please contact digitisation@contacts.bham.ac.uk with details of the texts and the formats your require as soon as possible.  If your module(s) have ResourceLists please provide us with a link to those too.

We will then discuss your needs with you.

We will create a Canvas course specifically for you that will be used to supply accessible texts to you.

The supply of these texts is for your personal use in connection with your course of study only and you are not permitted to give the files to any other person.

Teaching Staff: 

Requests should be made by contacting the Digitisation Service team with details of the needs of the student concerned.  

Please include links to the ResourceList for the module(s) of study with reading categories set, as this will help identify the priority of these requests.

Please provide any additional useful information that is not contained within the ResourceList such as the format requirements as detailed in the SSA.

Where a ResourceList is not available, please provide the following for each and every item: 

  • Full title,
  • author,
  • ISBN,
  • year,
  • edition,
  • publisher and
  • a link to FindIt. 

Please also specify if the whole text or just a section is required.

Service Standards

The Digitisation Service teams aims to process or query these requests within 5 working days of receipt. However, as this is a new service levels of demand are unknown and may encounter peaks before the start of term.  

All files provided by the Digitisation Service will be quality checked in line with the requirements outlined by the SSA. This includes a thorough text recognition function ensuring text is recognisable by assistive technologies, titles/ section headings and similar navigational aids will be marked as such and images will be supplemented with alt text including basic descriptions.  Confirmation from the user will be sought.

Please note the Digitisation Service team are not experts in the subjects within the texts requested and therefore any descriptions/ alt texts added should not be considered accurate representations of the content.  Where items requested are in languages other than english, the accuracy of the text recognition element may be reduced. Further discipline specific support may be required from tutors or support workers.



Please contact digitisation@contacts.bham.ac.uk for assistance. 


Professional Services